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St. Louis Poetry Center

Courtesy of the High Low

A newly renovated building is now open in Grand Center. It’s called the High Low. And like many other buildings in Grand Center, it’s focused on the arts.

But unlike many of the others, it’s not a theater or a performance space. Instead, it calls itself a “venue for freedom of expression through spoken and written word.” In other words, it aims to be a literary hub for a city that’s long had an outsized impact on the world of letters.

Like many newer developments in Grand Center, the High Low is a project of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, foundation executive director Chris Hansen explained the impetus for what he describes as a “labor of love.”  

Poet Jane Ellen Ibur, seen here in a May 1, 2017 photo, has enjoyed a storied career. For nearly 20 years, she co-produced and co-hosted the local radio show "Poet for the Halibut."
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis poet Jane Ellen Ibur is certainly a character. She's appeared before a class of children wearing a cape and carrying a magic wand. She sometimes wears two pairs of glasses at a time — one for distance, a second for close-up.

New festival aims to bridge gaps separating St. Louis poets

Sep 15, 2015
St. Louis Poet Laureate Michael Castro delivers a poem before the ceremonial swearing-in of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend poetry becomes a test of whether poets and poetry enthusiasts who follow a certain genre can cross cultural and stylist barriers in their art. The Brick City Poetry Festival is being presented as the first poetry festival of its kind in the St. Louis region. The goal? To bring together academic, spoken-word, young, old, and racially diverse poets in search of “human commonality.”

Alex Heuer, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a long and rich literary tradition having produced such noted writers as Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot, Eugene Field and Maya Angelou. On April 26, in honor of National Poetry Month, the St. Louis Poetry Center will celebrate one of St. Louis’ own, Maya Angelou.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

April is national poetry month and as part of the commemoration, the St. Louis Poetry Center holds “The Belle of Blueberry Hill: Emily Dickinson at the Duck Room.”

While the St. Louis Poetry Center features the work of many poets and writers over the course of a year, the influential work of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is on focus at the organization’s upcoming event.

In 1862, Dickinson sent a letter containing four poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who would later write of her, a “wholly new and original poetic genius.”

It's Spring! Love your Shakespeare!

Apr 6, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 6, 2011 - Shakespeare kicks off one of his most famous seasonal sonnets with the line "From you have I been absent in the spring," but April finds many of us returning to Shakespeare. The greatest writer in the English language was born (and died) on April 23, which the St. Louis Poetry Center celebrates, alongside National Poetry Month, with "Do Thy Will: Fourteen Shakespeare Sonnets at Blueberry Hill" on Sunday, April 10, in Blueberry Hill's Duck Room.

"Metamorphoses" marathon draws unusual suspects

Aug 26, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 26, 2009 - The themes encompassed in Ovid's "Metamorphoses" play out again and again in great works of art, literature and history.

There's love, loss, betrayal and hubris.

That last one seems particularly poignant to Rep. Rachel Storch, D-St. Louis, whose cell phone battery got eaten right up with all the calls she's been getting about the very recent resignation and guilty plea of state Sen. Jeff Smith on federal charges.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 14, 2008 - It's a busy time for Walter Bargen, who is traveling the state as Missouri's first-ever poet laureate. Through readings and workshops, he's had a forum to discuss his beloved craft and help others improve their writing. But when it comes to creating his own poetry...

"Isn't that the irony?" Bargen said. "I hardly have any time for writing, and that's a frustrating element for me."